What could be better than learning a life saving technique for free? On Saturday 28th February, 2015, over 120 people got the chance to learn CPR from police officers and firefighters at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center located in West Valley City.
This entirely free of cost class was organized by the West Valley City Fire Department in collaboration with the West Valley City Police Department, KSL Latino and West Valley City Neighborhood Services in order to spread awareness to the ones not having any preceding experience with CPR especially children.
West Valley City Battalion Chief Bob Fitzgerald explained to the participants that, “Do you know why it is so important that you know how to do CPR? Because after making the 911 call, it can take us three to four minutes to arrive, but you are there, and every minute counts.”
The class was taught by paramedic and firefighter, Mary Lindsay who began the 2-hour class with the question ” Are you afraid to do CPR?” to which the participants responded with a loud “Yes.” The participants were then helped by Lindsay to come out of this fear. The Spanish translation of the class was provided by the Girls Scout Utah.
According to Mary Lindsay, “We have received multiple emergency calls where children are the callers, so we want children to also learn.”
The participants including both children and adults were provided dummies by the fire department for practice.
Lindsay explained that, “The participation of the children and their desire to learn how to respond in an emergency was one of the highlights of the day.”
In accordance with the American Heart Association, Latinos suffer from heart diseases much more than the general population of the United States. Moreover, language barriers, financial concerns and lack of awareness become the main barriers in calling 911 for help. Therefore, learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be actually very effectual for the health of this community.
WVC police detective Franco Libertini explained that, “The event was a success and helped many people today. This is exactly what we wanted, to spread awareness, to work directly with people, to involve the whole family and to make this an activity for all.”